Describe an Interesting Animal: IELTS Speaking (3 Cue Cards With Example Answers)

You might get an interesting animal cue card in part two of your IELTS Speaking test. If you’re asked to describe your favorite animal, try to focus on things to say and interesting vocabulary. 

Let’s take a look at how to answer this question for a strong band-7 score. Below, you can also read three example answers (go straight to the answers here).

What You Can Say

It’s easiest to speak for two minutes if you talk about an animal you know well. So if you have a dog or cat or any other pet, that might be your best choice. 

Otherwise, just think of any animal that comes to your mind. Then you can talk about:

  • Why you find that animal interesting
  • What it looks like
  • Where it lives
  • What it eats
  • How it behaves
  • When you saw or learned about this animal
  • Where you can see it
  • If it’s dangerous or safe
  • If it’s wild or tame
  • If you’d like to have one as a pet
  • How that animal makes you feel
  • Anything else you can think to say

Try To Tell a Story 

It’s a great idea to tell a story or two in your part-2 answers. 

Stories help you keep speaking for a while. All you have to do is remember the experience and describe what happened, what you saw, how you felt, who you were with, what you learned, etc.

  • When talking about an interesting animal, you might tell a story about:
  • When you first learned about it (documentary, zoo, friend’s home, school)
  • Where you saw that animal before
  • When you watched a documentary about it
  • When and why you bought it as a pet
  • Any other story you can think of

Use Great Vocabulary With a Word Group

It’s best to focus on using interesting vocabulary in part 2 of the speaking test. 

Here are some interesting words often used to talk about animals:

  • Majestic
  • Mysterious
  • Graceful
  • Exotic
  • Intriguing
  • Colorful
  • Rare
  • Wild
  • Awe-inspiring
  • Ferocious
  • Unusual
  • Endangered
  • Powerful
  • Fur
  • Fangs
  • Claws
  • Paws
  • Mane
  • Antlers
  • Hooves
  • Tail
  • Hide
  • Snout
  • Beak
  • Scales
  • Wings
  • Roar
  • Growl
  • Pounce
  • Hunt
  • Stalk
  • Leap
  • Camouflage

Make Vocabulary Easier With a Word Group

You can use word groups to use interesting words more easily in part two of the test (learn about word groups here).

For this question, the perfect word group could be ‘interesting object’ or ‘interesting event.’ Here is a word group for describing something interesting:

  • Fascinating
  • Intriguing
  • Curious
  • Bizarre
  • Unique
  • Unusual
  • Captivating
  • Eye-opening
  • Blew my mind 
  • Extraordinary 
  • Weird and wonderful 
  • Really makes you think
  • Really spurred my curiosity 
  • I had no idea how strange/interesting/scary/cool it is
  • I learned so much
  • Gave me a totally new perspective on something 

You can use these words and phrases to describe any interesting thing or experience, including an animal or a time you learned about an interesting animal. Of course, you can add more words and idioms to this list. 

When preparing your answer, think about how you can use some of these related words and phrases. See how this ‘interesting animal’ word group is used in the first example answer below.

Example Answers

Now let’s jump into some good example answers to this question. See what ideas and vocabulary you can borrow for your own answer. 

Interesting Animal Cue Card 1

Describe an interesting animal

You should say:

  • What the animal looks like
  • Where you can see this animal
  • What its living habits are

And say why you find this animal interesting.

I’m going to talk about dogs, which I find really quite fascinating. In my opinion, dogs are intriguing creatures. Their friendly, curious nature and their unique abilities are what really make them so interesting. From their playful barks to their wagging tails, there’s never a dull moment with a dog around.

One thing that I find particularly eye-opening about dogs is their incredible sense of smell. They can detect scents that humans simply cannot, and their ability to track things using only their noses really blows my mind. It’s amazing to think that a dog’s sense of smell is so much more powerful than our own.

Another extraordinary thing about dogs is their loyalty and love for their owners. They will do anything to protect their families. Their unwavering devotion is truly something to behold. This level of love and devotion is something that I have never seen in any other species, and it’s one of the many things that makes dogs so unique.

My pet dog, Charlie, is a perfect example of just how weird and wonderful dogs can be. Charlie has a habit of carrying his toys around in his mouth, even when he’s not playing with them. This might seem like a bizarre habit, but it really makes you think about the instincts that dogs possess. They are always looking for ways to carry things, whether it’s a stick, a toy, or a ball, and this behavior is deeply rooted in their ancestral past as hunters and pack animals.

Interesting Animal Cue Card 2

Describe an interesting animal

You should say:

  • What kind of animal it is
  • Where you can find this animal
  • How it lives

And say why this animal is so interesting.

I’d like to talk about kangaroos. To my mind, Kangaroos are one of the oddest and most fascinating creatures on the planet. I lived in Australia for a year after university and I was lucky enough to see some kangaroos in the wild. As far as I know, they mostly live in the grasslands of Australia. That’s where I saw a few. 

They were captivating and very entertaining to watch. I remember thinking that it was strange how tall they can stand, looking around in a human-like way. And when they move, they bounce around in a funny way too. I didn’t go close to them because I heard they are quite dangerous. If a kangaroo punches or kicks you, it can kill you. 

One of the most eye-opening things about kangaroos is their ability to leap great distances. I heard they can leap really far: more than 10 or 20 feet in a single bound, which is truly extraordinary. Their strong hind legs and tails allow them to stay balanced and propel themselves forward, and they’re also super agile.

One of the coolest things about kangaroos is definitely their ability to carry their babies in their pouches. This unique feature sets them apart from other mammals. I don’t know of any other animals that can do that. 

I’d like to own a pet kangaroo. It would be really good fun. But I don’t think a kangaroo would enjoy living in the center of Paris very much!

Interesting Animal Cue Card 2

Describe an interesting animal

You should say:

  • Where this animal lives
  • How it survives
  • What it looks like

And say why you find this animal so interesting. 

I’d like to talk about elephants. I think elephants are simply amazing creatures. Their massive size, long noses, and high intelligence make them fascinating. I find them really quite captivating.

I actually know a lot about elephants because I was blessed to have a life-altering experience when I went to Thailand and served as a volunteer at an elephant rescue camp. I lived there for two months and had to clean and care for several of these magnificent creatures. It was such a unique experience: one that I will always cherish.

At the camp, I was immediately entranced and intrigued by the elephants and I learned so much about them. One of the most striking things I learned was their intelligence and emotional depth. They are extremely social animals and have close-knit bonds within their families and herds. When you watch them, you can see that they show a lot of compassion and empathy toward one another. It’s wonderful to see. 

The experience of volunteering at the elephant rescue camp was truly extraordinary. I was able to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures and gain a deeper understanding of their behavior and habits. I also made plenty of lifelong friends among the other volunteers. 

The whole experience gave me a new and fresh outlook on elephants and life. I’ll never forget it. 

Your Turn To Answer

Now that you’ve read a few examples, why not try to answer this question yourself?

First, it’s a good idea to memorize the ‘interesting object’ word group. Then, when you prepare your answer, think about how you can use these words to describe your animal or your experience with this animal. 

Set up the recorder on your phone, then read one of the cue cards on this page.

Spend one minute preparing your answer. 

Then, start speaking! Try to keep speaking for two whole minutes.

Afterward, listen to the recording and see what was good and what you could improve.

Keep on repeating this process and you’ll soon be ready for part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test.

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